Before we could begin to put the new bathtub in the bathroom, we had to tackle the problem of our house being old and not level. The shower floor was at least one inch higher near the drain than the back of the shower. This meant that the water sat at the back of the old shower and didn't drain completely. What a mess… Aaron had already placed 1/2 inch cement board on the floor and we planned on tiling the are underneath the shower for additional support. To level the floor, we added an extra layer of cement board towards the back of the shower. Then, we mixed a big batch of tile mortar and applied as much mortar as needed under each tile so that the tiled floor was level. This was a slow tedious process but now the tub can sit on a level floor and drain properly.
We wrestled the tub into place to make adjustments about 10 times before we were finally okay with the drain alignment. Let it be known that wrestling bathtubs into tiny spaces with your spouse should be very high on the list of appropriate reasons for initiation of divorce causing arguments. After applying plumbing cement to the pipes, we set the tub in and thankfully it fit. I hope we don't ever have to put a bathtub in again.
Once all of the cement board was up, we coated the boards with a bonding agent so that the tile will hopefully adhere better.